Challenging But Rewarding
Deciding that she needed to study the subject formally, she quit her job and signed up for the General Assembly course, further aided by the SFSA. She was fortunate to land a full-time role as a UX designer at CCRM after being headhunted for it.
The past three years have been rewarding; she feels immense satisfaction in creating products that are meaningful and contribute to the businesses that are CCRM’s clients. She also taps her prior experience in banking, such as the technical jargon and how the world of finance works.
Koh admits though, that there were challenges in making this pivot. In 2017, there was still a lot of misconceptions of what a UX designer does, with many employers confusing it with visual design and coding-related tasks. This led to them disregarding the seven years of experience she had in the two banks she worked in.
“Actually, my product management experience counts too and really helped me in my current role to bring validated ideas to life and make them work,” Koh explains. Much more education is needed, she feels, to raise the awareness of the job description and change mindsets that a UX designer is not someone who works on visuals, but is a multi-disciplinary problem-solver who makes a significant impact on the business bottom-line.
Still, she hopes this will not deter others from making the switch to a career in design, especially since there are tools like the SFSA for Design that can be leveraged.
“Everyone should just sign up for it, whether you have a design background or not,” she encourages.
“Like me, people might have the impression the award is difficult to get – and I was surprised to receive it – but it really smoothened the path to allow me to get to where I am today.”